February 26, 1999
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
WASHINGTON, D.C. ---- LOCAL PREFERENCE LAW OK FOR LOCAL
MONEY, NOT OK WITH FEDS
Congressman Faleomavaega announced today that he has written to Governor Tauese expressing his opinion that the application of a local law of American Samoa which gives a preference to "local" businesses should not be used on contracts being paid with federal funds.
"Local law permits the award of contracts without use of the local preference when federal law prohibits its use," said Faleomavaega. "The intent of the local law is commendable, and we all support the government's efforts to assist local businesses. But when viewed from a national perspective, it is in the nation's best interests that public contracts are awarded to the lowest, responsive and responsible bidder."
American Samoa law gives preferences to local businesses ranging from 5% to 25% on public contracts for construction and for the purchase of goods and services. "American Samoa is not alone in implementing local preference laws," noted the Congressman. "The State of Hawaii has a similar law and applies it to contracts funded with state funds. American Samoa can do the same thing for contracts funded through local funds."
"With regard to any disputes on pending federal contracts, I hope ASG and the federal agencies involved will work out their differences quickly and proceed with the award of the contract," concluded Faleomavaega.